2021 Tall Poppy Virtual Experience - A FREE Event for Rural Government Schools

Registrations are now open for the 2021 Tall Poppy Virtual Experience for Students in Years 5 and 6.

Students will have an opportunity to engage with emerging leaders in fields including: Wildlife Conservation & Management, Entomology and Infectious Diseases.

This experience will be delivered using Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 18th August 11:55am-1:00pm.

To register your interest please complete the following online form: https://forms.office.com/r/hJXEDcim1X





Students, teachers and TPs login in

11:55am - 12:00pm


Ms Soula Bennett Director Quantum Victoria and introduction to the day's format

12:00pm - 12:05pm

Tall Poppy Campaign introduction

12:05pm - 12:15pm Dr Benjamin Allen:
From Beenleigh to Botswana: The international adventures of a home-grown wildlife scientist
A fun and engaging presentation on how Ben became an international wildlife scientist, with humble beginnings catching green tree frogs in the backyard whilst in primary school, through to radio-tracking lions in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. I will discuss the influences that helped cultivate this interest as kid, including the importance of my Grade 2 teacher (Mrs Dally), and the decisions I made in high school and beyond that enabled me to do the best job in the world. My presentation will be filled with lots of interesting wildlife pictures and fun stories of some of my experiences.

12:15pm - 12:25pm

A/Prof Asha Bowen:
Stepping Stones to becoming a Clinician Scientist

A/Prof Asha Bowen is now a paediatrician at Perth Children's Hospital and scientist at Telethon Kids Institute. It all started as a curious primary school student who never stopped asking why. She got her first microscope at 12 years old and throughout high school worked hard at humanities and science subjects. As a paediatrician and scientist, much of Asha's work now is about asking great questions, figuring out the methods to find the answers to these questions, and then communicating the answers to make a difference for children, teenagers and families. Where will your curious questions take you?

12:25pm - 12:35pm

Dr Bryan Lessard:
Time flies: from catching insects in school to becoming a fly scientist

Dr Bryan Lessard, better known as Bry the Fly Guy, is an entomologist who has named 50 species of flies new to science, including a famous horse fly named after Beyoncé. Bry never knew he could become an entomologist, a scientist who studies insects, until he discovered the world of flies in a forensic entomology class at university where he learned that maggots can help solve crime. Through his research, he has discovered that flies are important pollinators, can help us better understand genetics and disease, need our protection from bushfires and that some flies might become the next superfood of the future!

12:35pm - 12:55pm

Q&A Panel

Students have the opportunity to ask the Tall Poppies questions via the chat function.

12:55pm - 1:00pm


About the Tall Poppies

Dr Benjamin Allen - University of Southern Queensland

Research Field: Wildlife conservation and management

As a wildlife researcher and management expert Dr Allen specialises in applied, large-scale manipulative experimentation to investigate and develop practical evidence-based solutions for resolving human conflict with wildlife, particularly livestock predators. His work is primarily in extensive agricultural production systems in Australia, but also in peri-urban areas and farming communities in southern Africa and southeast Asia.

Primary areas of research include wildlife biology, behaviour, impacts, interspecific interactions, trophic cascades, population dynamics and environmental drivers of population change, and the effects of management interventions on these.

This includes improved animal ethics and welfare decision-making, and policy related to evidence-based wildlife management practices and requires strong collaboration and research leadership with multiple individual researchers and research organisations.

Previous research on dingoes has led to the development of new commercial products, tools, practices and policies affecting dingo management, as well as more ethical and humane dingo management practices increasingly being adopted by livestock producers both here and overseas.

Associate Professor Asha Bowen

Research Field: Infectious Diseases

Skin infections are a big problem for remote-living Australian Aboriginal children. In fact, almost one in two children at any one time will have a painful or itchy skin sore on their arms or legs. If not treated properly, skin infections can allow bacteria to enter the body and cause blood poisoning or sepsis, bone infections and lifelong damage to the kidneys and heart.

A/Prof Bowen's comprehensive approach to skin health is an exemplar for dealing with diseases of disparity and environmental health in remote Aboriginal communities, and includes leading clinical trials to address identified knowledge gaps; advocating for public health action on diseases of inequity and developing guidelines to translate knowledge into policy and practice. Her team regularly visit remote Aboriginal communities to learn from Elders and families, and aims to develop culturally appropriate healthy skin messages by working closely with community members.

Asha's wide-ranging public outreach has included science activities and events with primary and high school children, and numerous interviews in magazines, radio, print, and television. A/Prof Bowen received her PhD from Charles Darwin University in 2015 and is currently NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute, Paediatric Infectious Diseases specialist at Perth Children's Hospital and Clinical Associate Professor, University of Western Australia.

Dr Bryan Lessard - CSIRO
Research Field: Entomology

The classification of Australian horse flies ceased in the 1980s, despite being vectors of disease in Australia. By combining traditional taxonomy with contemporary DNA sequencing and high-resolution photography, Dr Lessard produced the first phylogeny for southern hemisphere horse flies, and described one new tribe, two new genera and 18 new species. Using fossil evidence, he then demonstrated that the current distribution of southern hemisphere horse flies is best explained by the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana.

This research resulted in seven publications and enabled others to accurately identify specimens from the southern hemisphere to species level. Australian soldier flies are pests of sugar cane and notoriously difficult to identify. Last year Dr Lessard brought Fulbright Specialist Dr Norman Woodley (Smithsonian Institute) to Australia, and together they discovered more than 150 new species after identifying thousands of specimens from every Australian state museum.

Dr Lessard produced the first molecular phylogeny for these agriculturally important flies using anchored hybrid enrichment, a cutting-edge technology generating 600 nuclear markers, which was a first in Australian entomology. Recently he was awarded a $297,000 research grant (ABRS) to describe new species of Australian mosquitoes that will help entomologists identify those that carry diseases like Ross River Fever.

  • Tall Poppy Campaign
Wednesday 18th August 2021
Start Time
End Time
Quantum Victoria, Macleod West
Past Event